Read about our new Library Graduate Trainee and all that her role entails.
Hello, I’m Debora the new Library Graduate Trainee at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew for 2011/12. I have been working here for just over two months now and I’m going to tell you a little about myself and then about what I do at Kew.
For the past year I have been volunteering in two Libraries to gain library experience. The RHS Lindley Library at Wisley where I was the first library intern, and the library at the Watts Gallery, Compton. Whilst I was volunteering at the Watts Gallery I was involved with their project to set up and catalogue the Christopher Wood Library, specialising in books on nineteenth century artists which was created as part of the gallery's extensive refurbishment.
Why I wanted the role at Kew
I became aware of Kew's Library Graduate Trainee post through the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) Graduate Trainee Directory. The position appealed to me because of the emphasis on cataloguing to a AACR2 and MARC standard. As I had done some cataloguing before, but not to this level, it also compliments my previous experience in less academic environments. My role as the Library Graduate Trainee involves cataloguing the new books that arrive for the Library, and then moving them through the new book display into the library collection. I also work regular shifts on the Enquiry Desk, helping to answer reader’s queries and retrieving the books they request.
A book display I produced
What I'm learning
I have not found my lack of a science background a disadvantage. As part of my training, I have recently attended a one day botany course which has helped me to a greater understanding of plant structure. It was a fascinating course which included an explanation of how plants and insects are often vital to each other’s life cycles. This has enabled me to assign call numbers and subject headings more accurately.
During my introduction to cataloguing I have been amazed at the range of books that form the Kew collection. Books range from the discusson of Lycophytes in Louisiana to garden design. One of my favourite books that I have catalogued so far has been 'Jouets de plantes, Histories et secrets de fabrications' by Christine Armengaud, which features toys made out of different kinds of plants.
An interesting book I catalogued that demonstrates the ways in which plants can be used to produce toys
During my first few weeks at Kew I have had an introduction into the different areas of the Library alongside the new Archives Trainee, Stephanie. Everyone has been so helpful and patient and I am loooking forward to a really enjoyable and informative year.
- Debora -
- Read about the Graduate Traineeships in the Library & Archives at Kew
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- Search Kew's Library Catalogue
- Find out more about the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP)
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